Summer Eats And Treats In Vacationland

Summer Eats And Treats In Vacationland

My favorite, and most necessary spots to visit this summer in Southern Maine.
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As school comes to an end and summer is fast approaching, I cannot wait to get back home and enjoy all my favorite things. Summer is where Southern Maine really thrives and I am thrilled that it is so near. While I may look at the tourists each year and shake my head at the things they do, they're part of home. I can only take them in and realize it wouldn't be the same without them. As I will be going to my favorite places this summer, making a stop at each and every one, I thought I would share my insight on the go to places to hit this summer. Maine has a lot to offer in general, but it is Southern Maine that truly has my heart. From the restaurants, to the shops, to the breathtaking views, this is truly the place to be. The following are my top five spots that everyone should go to visit this summer. You are truly missing out if you don't make the trip up and enjoy all it has to offer.

1. Rapid Ray's

189 Main Street, Saco, Maine 04072

Rapid Ray's is one of the most amazing fast food joints that exists. A family run business that has been around since 1953, they make fast food taste so great -- you may even contemplate calling it fast food. Ranging from burgers, to steamed hot dogs, to lobster rolls, to french fries, they have the best quality, at an extremely fast pace. If you want to be like a local, make sure you order a Big One and Choc (Burger with two meat patty's and two slices of cheese with whichever toppings you'd like and a chocolate milk). My recommendation is to indulge in the fries -- loaded with vinegar. Rap's is great during the day for lunch or dinner, but there's just something about getting it past 11 o'clock at night that is more than satisfying.

2. Fielder's Choice

156 Saco Ave, Old Orchard Beach, Maine 04064

If you are looking for an ice cream the size of your head, this is the place to go. Recently opened in Old Orchard Beach, Fielder's Choice has multiple, delicious homemade ice cream flavors at reasonable prices. Take my advice when I say that I struggle to eat just a kiddie -- it's at least three scoops large. They have both soft and hard serve and whether it's in a dish, cone, or sundae, you will never be disappointed.

(These were kiddies.)

3. Bill's Pizza and Pier Fries

12 Old Orchard Street, Old Orchard Beach, Maine 04064

Old Orchard Beach is a crazy place during the summer, but that's what makes it so amazing -- besides the food that is. Bill's and Pier Fries are technically two separate places, but they go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other! You can order slices or a whole pie and varying box sizes of fries or even fried dough. Please get the biggest size possible for fries. These fries are like no other and have been served for over 80 years. It is a must to eat while walking down the strip or sitting on the benches near the beach. I may be lactose intolerant, but the pain is worth it for this pizza. So take that into consideration and go get pizza and pier fries -- At least

once this summer, if not more.

4. Biscuits and Company

25 Alfred Street, Biddeford, Maine 04005

Biscuits and Company just recently opened and it is a wonderful, hidden treasure. Here you can find some of the most amazing baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, and regular sandwiches. The special thing about Biscuits and Co. is that their sandwiches are not made on ordinary bread, but on biscuits -- the most heavenly of sorts. All sandwiches and baked goods are made with Maine Grown Grains and locally sourced ingredients. This isn't an everyday breakfast place, more of a wonderful place for a special treat.

5. Elements

265 Main Street, Biddeford, Maine 04005

Books, coffee, beer -- what more could you ask for? Elements is located right on Main Street and is THE place to go. There are books to read or buy, hot and cold beverages, and even sweet or savory treats. Don't forget the live music and trivia on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. Don't take it lightly when I say you need to bring your A game for trivia because it's hard! My recommendation for a drink would be the Iced Mocha with almond milk -- it is liquid gold. For only opening in 2013, it has made its mark as the local hot spot. For those days where it may be a bit too hot for the beach, go to Elements and take in the relaxing vibe and open a good book or catch up with your friends.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Sweet Potatoes Are The Most Underrated Vegetable Of All Time

Everything you need to know about the pieces of edible gold we call "sweet potatoes" and why they will always perish over any plain old potato.

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The potato. The heart of the American food industry. A versatile vegetable crop soaked in grease that brings us some of our favorite appetizers and sides. From french fries, to curly fries, to tater tots, to baked potatoes, to hash browns, this hallowed vegetable has become the Johnny Depp of the vegetable family. Now, we are all aware that the configurations of potatoes are limitless, but we commonly disregard the potato's delicious and neglected brother: the sweet potato. I, a credible food connoisseur and highly experienced eater, am here to tell you why you are missing out on a world of flavor if you choose to dismiss the beloved sweet potato and its many entities.

Let me first start this tirade by proving to you my credibility...I, too, once believed that regular french fries were better than sweet potato fries. I scoffed at the idea of choosing those ridiculous orange sticks over my tried-and-true plain boys. I could not be convinced that any sweetness should impede on my savory snacks.

These were dark times.

It was not until a mere month ago that my mind was changed forever.

It was a sunny (scary) Sunday morning, and my pounding head led me on a mission to indulge myself in the finest breakfast foods. I entered my favorite breakfast diner, Angelo's, and waited anxiously for my waiter to stroll over. She filled our water cups and asked if we wanted to start with any appetizers. Before my stingy self could even decline the offer, my best friend ordered a round of sweet potato fries for the table and the waiter scurried away. I stared blankly at her for a solid minute. I could not wrap my head around the concept of munching on sweet potato fries at 8 in the morning. She just stared back and said, "Trust me." Suddenly, a tray of blood orange sticks and a mysterious tan sauce appeared in front of my face. As much as I wanted to ponder the morality of this decision, the hunger began to take over, and I shoved one of the fries into my mouth.

In an instant, it was as if time and space had lost all meaning. When my teeth hit the fry, the perfectly crusted outer shell crunched softly making a sound much like your foot crushing a dried leaf. The now exposed inside of the fry was the perfect blend of mush and warmth that felt like your mouth was receiving a hug. The flavor...unbelievable. It didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't a fry — this was a culinary experience. This fry single-handedly blew the roof off of any predisposed ideas I had about American cuisine.

I am well aware that my fry experience cannot be simulated again by any average food-goer, but I challenge you, the reader of this article, to get out there and enjoy a sweet potato in any form. Stray from your basic fries or tater tots and dabble in a sweet treat which will undoubtedly bring you flavorful satisfaction.

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